Salona ancient city

Salona (today called Solin) appeared and developed on the intersection of maritime and land routes in the prehistoric and the antique periods.

For centuries, Salona was a metropole of the Roman province of Dalmatia, later, since early Middle Ages, this role passed on to Split city.

Salona ancient Roman city Croatia photo

More than 2000 years ago, the town of Salona grew in one of the most beautiful bays of the eastern coast of the Adriatic sea, in the delta of the Jadro river. Once a small harbour of Illyrian Delmates in which the local Illyrians encountered the more developed Greek culture through trade, it soon attracted a large number of Roman citizens.

Salona ancient Roman city Croatia photo

Due to its advantageous geographic position and fortunate historical circumstances, Colonia Martia Iulia Salina, founded by Caesar at the turn of the millennium, became a metropole of the Roman province of Dalmatia.

Salona ancient Roman city Croatia photo

From that time, in the city surrounded by stone walls and fortified by watchtowers, extensive construction works began. Since August’s times, there have been preserved the eastern city gate, the so-called Caesar’s Gate. Inside the fortress, in its southeastern part, the Forum was built — the political and religious centre of the town — with a temple dedicated to Jupiter, Juno and Minerva, and in its close proximity, at the end of the 1st century, a theatre was built. A prolonged period of peace allowed for significant town structures to be erected beyond the centre of Salona, as well.

In the 2nd century, in the northwest, there was built a magnificent four-story structure — the amphitheater, a favored spot for Romans to be entertained. On the opposite side of Salona, in the east, at the end of the 2nd century, the thermae were built — Roman baths, which became an inherent part of the Roman town culture.

Salona ancient Roman city Croatia photo

Salona ancient Roman city Croatia photo

At the end of the 3rd century, during the rule of Diocletian, the construction works reached their peak: new structures were built (the structures at the forum), some were restored, redone and the older ones were finished (the theatre, the amphitheatre).

At that time, Salona was a densely populated town (with the suburbs there were about 60,000 people), with a pronounced cosmopolitan spirit.

The numerous citizens of the eastern provinces flow to Salona. They are ardent preachers of the new religion — Christianity — with which the people of Salona had encountered earlier thanks to the bishop Venantius. Christianity in Salona was on the rise after martyr’s deaths of the bishop Domnius and his followers during Diocletian’s persecutions in 304. The places where they are buried (Manastirine — the burial place of the bishop Domnius); Kapljuc — of the priest Asterius and four warrior-bodyguards of Diocletian; Marusinac — Anastasia) became places of worship, and their environs became places where other Christians began to be buried. On the graves of the martyrs there were basilicas built, in their memory.

Salona ancient Roman city Croatia photo

Opening hours of the Amphitheatre

High tourist season: April 1st- September 30th
Moday – Saturday 09:00 – 19:00
Sunday 09:00 – 13:00

Middle tourist season: October 1st – March 31st
Monday – Friday 09:00 – 15:00
Sunday – closed

The entrance ticket price

  • for adult – 20 kn (~2,6 euro)
  • for children and students – 10 kn (~1,3 euro)
  • for Split card users – 10 kn (~1,3 euro)

Salona ancient Roman city Croatia photo

The address of the Amphitheatre

Don Frane Bulić bb, Solin

The Salona Roman ruins on map of Croatia

Information provided by the Archaeological Museum of Split Tusculum –
Manastyrine Memorial Room Solin